A&A news

A&A

Five Ways to Improve Due Diligence

Due diligence is most commonly performed during the sale of a business. It can, however, be a useful tool for gaining a truer picture of the current state of a company whether it is up for sale or not. Here are 5 hints from TheStreet.com, for making the most of a due diligence audit:Double-check everything. This includes financials, the customer database, tax returns and filings, copyright and patent filings, employment contracts, vendor lists, and leases for equipment or property.
A&A

FASB Options Rules Also Affect Private Firms

Late in 2004, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a controversial ruling regarding how companies list outstanding options as expenses on their books. The impact of the new guidelines on public companies, which goes into effect in June, has attracted most of the attention.
A&A

IRS Targets Small Business

The Internal Revenue Service is targeting small businesses. Concerned about widespread noncompliance with employment tax rules, the IRS in February unveiled a new form for filing employment taxes, it hopes will simplify payroll tax reporting and reduce errors. The IRS also hopes the new form will make it easier for auditors to spot inappropriate transactions and questionable reporting as they step up their auditing efforts of small businesses. According to Financial-Planning.com, among the specific targets on the audit list are:S Corporations.
A&A

Microsoft Prepares to Roll out Small Business Accounting Software

There are 40 million small businesses using PCs in the world and Microsoft aims to make all of them customers of its soon-to-be released Office Small Business Accounting software, IDG News Service reported.The company claims the new product will enable small businesses to manage customer, financial and business processes. Payroll functionality is offered through integration with services from outsourced payroll services provider Automatic Data Processing.Available now in a beta test version with the final release slated for September.
A&A

Tax Wars: Small Firms v. Large National Chains

What do clients look for in a tax preparer? Are they looking for an accountant tucked in an office with calculator and computer or for a nationally recognized brand promising fast refunds?Many Americans still do their own taxes. More complicated tax rules, however, are forcing greater numbers of taxpayers to seek help preparing their returns. Of the 132 million returns filed last year, 80 million filers paid a third party tax preparer. That number is expected to rise at an annual rate of one percent.“It’s like changing the oil in your car.
Community News

Vital Records Management: Don't Get Distracted by SOX

When it comes to data management, executives must develop a strategic approach – thinking in both in terms of the “big picture” vision and the details of storage, Van Carlisle, CEO of Fire King, a security and records management group, told the ABA Banking Journal in an interview published in March 2005. Carlisle points out that not all records have the same value to a firm. To be distinguished as “vital,” a record must contain information that is essential to the organization in the event of a disaster.
A&A

Certified Divorce Financial Analysts Ease the Way for Couples

Ending a marriage is a painful prospect for most couples but it becomes even more complicated for those with extensive financial assets. Enter the certified divorce financial analyst to simplify matters.The Springfield (MO) News-Leaders reported that more and more couples, especially those who own businesses together, are seeking the services of CDFAs to help them navigate the often-tricky path to divorce. The certification is offered by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, which was founded in 1993.
Community News

Liberty Tax Service is the Season's Fastest Growing

Liberty Tax Service is fastest growing branded tax service of the season. Between January 1 and March 31, 2005, the company has opened 311 new offices. In addition Liberty Tax Service has realized a 35 percent increase or prepared 142,000 more tax returns than in the same period last year. Liberty Tax Service was named “Leader in Tax” in the March issue of Accounting Today magazine. The January 2005 issue of Entrepreneur magazine ranked Liberty Tax Service 15th on its annual Franchise 500 list.
A&A

AICPA Issues Exposure Draft on Business Valuation Standards

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) last week issued an exposure draft of proposed Business Valuation Standards for comment.
A&A

Consolidation Rules for Sole General Partner LPs & LLPs

In its comments on EITF Issue No. 04-5, “Investor’s Accounting for an Investment in a Limited Partnership When the Investor Is the Sole General Partner and the Limited Partners Have Certain Right,” TIC noted that the title should be revised to clarify it also covers entities that are equivalent to limited partnerships, such as LLCs. The proposed standard discusses three types of rights: kick-out rights (as used in FASB’s FIN 46R), participatory rights and protective rights.
A&A

SEC's Office of the Chief Accountant Release Staff Accounting Bulletin on Share-Based Payments

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Chief Accountant and its Division of Corporation Finance announced on Tuesday announced the release of a Staff Accounting Bulletin relating to the Financial Accounting Standard’s Board (FASB) accounting standard for stock options and other share-based payments. Staff Accounting Bulletin No.
A&A

FASB Issues Final Interpretation of Accounting for Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on Wednesday published FASB No. 47, Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations. Interpretation No. 47, clarifies that the term “conditional asset retirement obligations” as used in FASB Statement No. 143, Accounting for Asset Retirement Obligations, refers to a legal obligation to perform an asset retirement activity in which the timing and/or method of settlement are conditional on a future event that may or may not be within the control of the entity.
Practice

Is Your Health Insurance Provider Overbilling You?

State regulators in Wisconsin say Milwaukee-based Assurant Health overbilled an unspecified number of small businesses and will have to pay refunds to those clients. It’s not yet clear how many of Assurant Health’s small employer clients, those having fewer than 50 employees, had to pay higher health insurance premiums because of the miscalculations or how far back the miscalculations stretch.During an investigation by the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance found that Assurant Health, which was known as Fortis Health Insurance Co.
A&A

Poll: Public Divided on Regulating Appearance in the Office

Most would agree that nose rings and obesity are more common than ever in the U.S. workplace, but a new survey says the nation is divided over whether employers should have the right to ban body piercings or compel large-framed employees to drop weight. In the survey released today, 39 percent said employers should have the right to deny employment to someone based on appearance, including weight, clothing, piercings, body art or hairstyle.The survey comes as employer-employee disputes over appearance increasingly spill into the courts and government enforcement agencies.
A&A

Family Partnerships are Under the Microscope

Tread carefully if you are thinking of moving family estate assets into a partnership to reduce your tax burden. A U.S.
A&A

CIO Insight Magazine Releases The Global Outsourcing Report

Three-quarters of U.S. companies outsourced some or all of their information technology activities in 2004, and that percentage is likely to increase this year, according to a special survey on outsourcing and offshoring in the March issue of Ziff Davis Media's CIO Insight magazine. While a smaller percentage of companies are outsourcing those activities offshore (32%), half of them have cut full-time jobs as a result.India is the most competitive and popular technology outsourcing destination in the world in 2005, according to the Global Outsourcing Report and, China will be the No.
A&A

The IRS Asks, Do You Have a Deductible Home Office?

Whether you are self-employed or an employee, if you use a portion of your home exclusively and regularly for business purposes, you may be able to take a home office deduction.You can deduct certain expenses if your home office is the principal place where your trade or business is conducted or where you meet and deal with clients or patients in the course of your business.
A&A

Debt vs. Equity: Accounting for Claims Contingent on Firms’ Common Stock Performance

Determining accurate accounting methods for employee stock options and other stock-related claims has long been a headache for companies, investors, analysts, standard-setters and regulators. Contradictory GAAP rulings that classify similar securities as both debt and equity have resulted in inconsistent company reporting over the years.
A&A

Survey Finds Workers Average Only Three Productive Days per Week

Unclear objectives, lack of team communication and ineffective meetings are among the top time wasters that workers around the world say make them feel unproductive for as much as a third of their workweek on average, according to results of an online Microsoft(R) Office survey announced last week.
A&A

Apple Plans to Boost Executive Compensation Through Bonuses

As Apple broadens distribution of its wildly popular iPod music players to retail outlets like Target, the company is making plans to offer cash bonuses to top managers, Bloomberg News reported.Citing a study Apple commissioned, the company said it is not paying its executives enough and is not positioned to be competitive in the area of executive pay with rivals such as Dell and Sony, both of which are trying to copy the success of the iPod. The iPod has fuelled the company's shares, which have more than tripled in the past year.

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